Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by graytonbeachguy, Sep 24, 2015.
Former planning director sentenced on perjury charges
No Contest Plea
By TOM McLAUGHLIN | 315-4435 | @TomMnwfdn | firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Walton County Planning Director Patsy Blackshear pleaded no contest Monday to perjury charges.
She was spared jail time and will spend two and a half years on probation if she doesn’t commit a violation.
Blackshear had been indicted in September 2015 on two charges; perjury in an official proceeding and perjury in an unofficial proceeding. The first charge is a felony; the second a misdemeanor.
No deal was offered by the state and it was unclear until Monday’s hearing whether Blackshear would accept punishment for both charges, said Greg Anchors, the chief assistant district attorney in Walton County.
“The defense attorney had sort of indicated that (no contest to both charges) was his recommendation,” Anchors said. “About a month ago they told us they would like a date to enter a plea if they chose to do so. Today was that date.”
Following the plea, Assistant State Attorney Clifton Drake called for Blackshear to be adjudicated guilty and serve a year in jail, a news release from the First Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office said.
Circuit Court Judge Ross Goodman opted instead to withhold an adjudication of guilty and sentence her to five years of probation, the release said. He ruled that Blackshear would serve only half of the probated sentence if she does not violate terms set down by the court.
Blackshear was the head of the Walton County Planning Department in 2005 when the department charged a development group called Lakeside at Blue Mountain Beach $614.25 for a recreation fee that was supposed to be $614,250.
In 2015, an email sent in 2008 from a Planning Department employee was uncovered. The employee took responsibility for the expensive oversight.
The email and other discoveries caught the attention of law enforcement.
“Investigation by the Office of State Attorney and the (Walton County) Sheriff’s Office led to the discovery of a second 2008 memorandum, which pertained to Endless Summer, reflecting the recreation fee for that project in 2006 being calculated as $20,560.25 instead of $205,560.25,” the State Attorney’s Office said in its release.
Blackshear, the release said, denied to investigators and later to a grand jury knowing anything about the miscalculations or the resulting memos.
“Multiple witnesses within the Planning Department, however, indicated that not only did Blackshear learn of the Lakeside miscalculation, she also directed employees to take various actions in response to the discovery,” the release said.
The extensive investigation launched into the workings of the Planning Department following the discoveries of the financial discrepancies resulted in the convening of the grand jury that ultimately indicted Blackshear.
Neither Blackshear nor her attorney returned phone calls seeking comment Monday afternoon, but the news release indicated she had confessed to the perjury charges in open court.
“Blackshear indicated to the Court that ‘the statements (she) made to the Office of State Attorney and to the Grand Jury were inaccurate,’ ” the release said.
The release also said Blackshear, when asked, said she did not report the recreation fee miscalculations to her supervisors or the Walton County Commission.
“Her only explanation was that the Planning Department was so busy and hectic at the time that it fell through the cracks,” the release said.
The plea concludes the year long investigation into the Walton County Planning Department, Anchors said.
“We’re glad the grand jury’s work is ended by this as well,” said Assistant State Attorney Drake.
Then I guess the public can now see all the other interviews that were conducted and Not presented to the grand jury right?
Let's just start with a list of those people, OK State?
It would appear that more time, effort and documentation has been spent on #12's Jersey than on the Grand Jury Investigation by WCSO and Bill Eddins...
Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jersey: More details and timeline emerge in theft case
Charles Robinson,Yahoo Sports
• Just after 10:05 p.m., Brady was taken to the locker room on a cart, driving by a line of media awaiting entrance to the locker room. He then entered the closed locker room, which sources said was filled with approximately 30 people – consisting of a mix of players, Patriots employees, family of team executives and NFL employee
• Arriving to his locker, Brady found his shoulder pads and jersey waiting on a folding chair. He separated the two items, stuffing his jersey inside the personal carry-on bag that was sitting inside his locker. He then left his shoulder pads on the floor, where they were eventually collected by an equipment manager and placed into a large travel bag in front of his locker.
• At some point after separating his jersey and pads, Brady left his locker area and mingled with others in the still-closed room. At one point, he stopped to take a photo with family members of a Patriots executive, holding up five fingers to signify the team’s fifth title. By this point, Brady had informed league officials that he wished to spend the rest of the night with teammates and family, and wanted to refuse additional media requests.
• Just before 10:17 p.m., the locker room was opened to the waiting media, which filed in and broke into groups to interview various players. Brady returned to his locker by 10:20 p.m. and looked into the bag in his locker. At that time, reporters standing nearby heard him tell an NFL employee that his jersey was missing from his bag. Within minutes, Brady and equipment managers were searching through lockers and bags and other parts of the room to see if the jersey had been misplaced.
According to the NFL sources who spoke with Yahoo Sports, the Patriots didn’t have any form of surveillance set up in the locker room. One source familiar with the investigation said Texas authorities were trying to determine if video existed showing walkways outside the locker room, although it’s unknown what footage, if any, could aid security efforts.
About the only determination at this point is that the longest period of time that Brady’s jersey would have been tucked away in a relatively private setting occurred during a 10-to-12-minute frame of the private locker room time. The remainder of unaccounted time – about 3-to-4 minutes – took place when the locker room was open to cameras and reporters. At this early stage, no media members have come forward to report seeing anyone in Brady’s locker during that short period of time.
Since the theft occurred, the Houston police department has assigned the case to its major offenders division. NFL security and the Texas Rangers – the highest local law enforcement in the state – have also coordinated in an advisory capacity. The primary goal at the moment has been to determine who had access to the locker room period during the 15 minutes in which the jersey vanished. Because team and media credentials aren’t tracked, that could be virtually everyone who was granted locker room access as part of their game day credentials.
“Video might be the only thing that could show who went into the locker room [during that time],” said one source familiar with the investigation. “At this point, that might not even exist in a form that is helpful. Other video from [reporters] inside the locker room might be something [sought]. There may not be any video at all from the period of time before media got access.”
It’s a daunting task that could end with a significant piece of NFL history vanishing forever.
“Whoever took it has to be scared as [expletive],” said one NFL source involved with the investigation. “They had no idea what they were getting into. Now it’s everywhere. If that thing is worth $500,000 like some people are saying, that’s prison time. It might not even be easy to give it back at this point.”
OCSO Launches Investigation into "Certain Fees" being waived.
Investigation launched: County employee may have waived 'certain fees'
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating “potential billing irregularities” within the county Water and Sewer Department, county officials said.
Separate names with a comma.